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News from the front!

by B.B. Pelletier

Hello everyone. I have been on the road and will try to catch up on all the back questions; but if not, ask again. I did ask several of you to ask your questions again this week, so now is the time for that.

While on the road, I use a laptop to keep up with the blog. I’m not used to the keyboard, which is why I keep capitalizing whole sentences. I am not shouting at anyone; the caps lock key is too close to the shift and tab keys, and I hit it all the time by mistake.

When I’m on the road, I tend to give shorter answers because of the keyboard thing, plus the fact that my connections are so varied. Believe it or not, on this trip I was in a 700-room hotel in Orlando where there was no wireless internet, except in the lobby! In my room, their “high-speed internet” was a phone cable! And, it was like a fast dial-up service. That makes it difficult to do real work on the internet. I will solve this with a wireless card in the future, but this time I was unprepared for a resort hotel in a major vacation and conference city to be so backward. They located this cable on the night stand, so I had to use that as my computer desk. After answering 25-30 messages each evening, my back was totally out of whack.

Blog security measures
Some of you may not have read my announcement about the new security measures we are using, so here’s the deal. Commercial automatic spams on this blog have increased dramatically. Automated spam postings normally bypass blogs that require entry of characters in a box. We could require that all comments be sent to me before being posted, but that’s full moderation that I want to avoid. Typing in the characters seemed less annoying than full moderation. Another option would be to allow comments only from people who have a Blogger identity. That would force everyone to register. I want to avoid that as long as we can for a variety of reasons. I have to type in the characters, too, so I’m doing it for every answer I give. It still seems to be the best way.

Posting backlog
Below are listed the blog topics I am working on. In some cases, “working” means I’m awaiting the gun, which could take months. In other cases, the topic has only been asked for by one reader, which tends to make it slip down on the list.

Benjamin HB22 pistol
Tau 7 pistol
Big Bore 909 rifle
How to maintain a PCP airgun
BAM B50 test (the B51 is also possible)
Several reports on barrel harmonics and tuning them
Daisy 008 pistol
Gamo P23 pistol
Modifying a 2240 for more power
Round balls vs 28-grain Eun Jin diabolos for penetration
Scope repeatability (8-32 Leapers)
Customizing airguns (stocks, grips, finishes)
Comparison of the CP99 Compact to the PPK/S
Gel pack rifle/pistol rest
Evanix AR6 pistol

There are also several other blogs in the works, but they are either based on new models that haven’t arrived (and no one has asked for them yet), or they’re surprises.

What BB Pelletier CAN’T do!
I get comments and questions all the time that go like this. “I understand the technical points of shooting quite well. I recently purchased a (fill in the blank) airgun that doesn’t suit my needs. I need a rifle that shoots at least 1,200 f.p.s. and can hold a group of five shots to no larger than 1/2″ at 50 yards. Why is this expensive air rifle (it cost him $190) unable to do that? ANSWER: What you bought IS NOT an expensive air rifle. A Walther LG300 Dominator, costing $1,899, is expensive. A rifle for under $200 is in the budget class. A budget Ruger 10/22 doesn’t shoot that well, either, but a custom Volquartsen selling for $1,500 will! The fact that $200 seems like a lot of money to you doesn’t make it so. It seems like a lot to me, too, but it really isn’t. Don’t expect a Chevy Impala to perform like a Dodge Viper, because it won’t.

Now, here is what this blog CAN do. I can show you, through my reports and testing, that you can get more power and nearly all the accuracy of an LG300 Dominator from an AirForce Condor, which costs under $600. The trigger will be heavier and the stock won’t be as adjustable, but the Condor offers a lot of value for less than one-third the price. What I CAN’T do is make the Condor come to you in a wood stock or with a quiet report, any more than I can grow a new arm.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

36 thoughts on “News from the front!”

  1. Are you going to review the BAM B26-2 anytime in the near future? Would this be an inexpensive alternative to an R9 for entry level piston class Field Target? The current competitive rig appears to be a TX200/HW97/R9 with a tune, Bushnell 4200 scope(or equivalent), and FT specific custom stock. Thanks for your hard work.

  2. Steve,

    These gun are all accurate in the basement. They differ in how they are powered and their adjustments. Stay away from CO2 if your basement gets cold. Precharged is the best way to go. It’s recoiless and dead neutral when fired. The single-stroke guns require effort to pump that some people find objectionable.


  3. I think most comments from folks who have trouble shooting their airguns (cheap or expensive) either have unreal expectations, or are affraid to admit that they have poor shooting skills.

    One of my brothers, for instance, litterally bounces off the trigger when he shoots, and simply wont believe that if he holds it for a second after the squeeze that he would tighten his group by as much as 1/4″. He still thinks he is a sniper.

    I can attest that I can hit a crosman amo tin at 50 yards with an old benjamin sheridan with open sights. No kidding. It’s all in shooting discipline.

    I only recently became involved in airgunning because I wanted to start training my kids, and I got myself a powerline/winchester 1000s so I could shoot with them.

    I don’t expect 1/4″ groups at 50 yards, I get more like 1.5″ at least. My dads Gamo does much better with a lot less work, but then he spent more money. You pay for what you get, and you shoot as well as your ego will let you learn.

  4. B.B.,

    Have an older, cheap breakbarrel that I want to tear apart and tune (play with to see how it works). I think you did a series of blogs on tuning but cannot find. Any ideas? Is there a book available? Thanks for the daily blog.

    Bill D.

  5. Bill D.,

    Use the search function on today’s blog page. Type in spring gun tune and see what you get!

    Whenever there is a series, go to the highest number first. That’s the last posting, and on the most recent ones there is a link back to all the earlier posts on every page.


  6. I hate laptops too but I have to use them and fix them everyday. I carry a small USB mouse and rollup USB keyboard for tight places and a full size USB keyboard if I have the room, not too much $$ either. I’m not trying to get you to answer more questions while on the road 🙂 just what I do cuz laptops were invented by midget devils.

  7. BB,

    I’ve noticed several references in your writing to Pellgunoil and ATF. I have no idea what Pellgunoil is, but I’d like to clear up a possible misconception about ATF. It is not silicone based. It is a highly refined petroleum product. See for example, see the Material Safety Data Sheet for DEXRON III.

    So now I wonder (a) is Pellgunoil possibly also petroleum based? (b) is ATF actually good for my airgun?

  8. BB,

    I was wondering if you could direct me as to the best hunting pellet for a .22 cal Ben 392. I’m planning on shooting quail, doves, and at the largest, varmint such as prairie dogs. Additionally, how many pumps do you recommend for a kill shot? Need I use all 8? I know 5 is supposed to be the most accurate. Thanks for your answer, and thanks for the blog!

    Phil from Arizona

  9. B.B.,

    Ok, so I posted earlier about tuning the cf-x and your response made sense as far as warranting a tune or not, but I’d like to approach from another angle, I cant tune the gun myself for lack of tools and skills. so to have the gun tuned and custom trigger I’m looking $180 shipped. I can get an RWS48 for $100 by shopping around, I could sell the cf-x and have more than enough, so then the question begs is it worth puttin $380 in a cf-x when you could have an RWS 48 or with enough persistence possibly an RWS 52 or beeman R9. I am a beginner so thats a factor as well. What is your opinion?


  10. I suspect that you have answered this already, if so, sorry for the repeat. I can’t seem to find a yea or nay on putting a peep sight on my RWS model 34. Can you help me?

  11. Phil from AZ,

    I have not heard that five pumps are more accurate than eight. I would actually test the rifle before deciding that.

    When you hunt you must take in the range to the quarry with everything else. For the game you mentioned, six to eight pumps would be my recommendation, depending on the distance.


  12. The.Man,

    As I understand you, the question is this – is a tuned CF-X better than an RWS 48? Forget the 52. The only difference is the stock. The gun is identical to the 48.

    In my opinion, an RWS 48 (or 52, if you want the stock and are willing to pay the difference) is more useful than a tuned CF-X. It is also more accurate, but that is only realized after your either 1. tune the gun or 2. learn how to shoot it. The 48 requires technique to shoot well.

    The CF-X has never been used to shoot field target in great numbers, but the 48 has. There is a club in Louisianna that uses them almost exclusively.


  13. rustyp,

    This is the first time I have seen your question. You want to put a peep sight on an RWS 34?

    What sight will you use – or is that the question?

    The recoil of the 34 is hard on scope mounts. A peep sight might work better because it has less mass. You might be able to use the big screw head to stop it from moving back.

    The sight you select has to reach back to your eye from the anchor point. I don’t know if there is a sight that will be correct. Also there is recoil to consider. You don’t want to be smacked in the eye by the sight when you shoot.

    Finally, there is the height compatibility issue. The rear sight has to be high enough to work correctly with the front sight.


  14. Hi B.B.

    To use the peep sight on the Benjamin 322/397, do you need to remove the factory rear sight?

    Also when you hunt with your Bluesteak I assume you pre-pump it rather than trying to pump it and hope your quarry stays put.



  15. jw,

    This question about the rear sight keeps coming in. I guess you do have to remove it. On my Silver Streak there never was a rear sight, and it does make sense.

    As for hunting. I would pump just before going into a game area. I would not carry a rifle pumped all day, because I don’t think the seals will take it.


  16. Having both pistols, I vote for the ‘Comparison of the CP99 Compact to the PPK/S’, especially since, on my CP99 Compact at least, I find the trigger to be so downright weird (it creeps a long way, then feels as if it ‘drops’ into a trough of some sort before finally releasing…somewhat less than ‘crisp’; it works best when you ‘yank’ it, which is not my way of shooting at all).

    Sorry about your back.


  17. B.B.,

    More on the RWS 34 peep sight… Since we are breaking new ground with this question, I’ll start from scratch. First of all, do you know of anyone who has made a peep sight work on the 34? If the peep (Williams, Mendoza?) is mounted on the 11mm rail, do you think it will be secure during recoil? Next, is the front sight on the 34 replaceable? Machining parts is an option for me so feel free to think ‘outside the box’.

    Thanks a million for any help,


  18. rustyp,

    I don’t think the Williams or Mendoza reach back far enough to see. You need something like a Weihrauch aperture sight that reaches back several inches, and you may have to remove the large headed screw to make it fit.

    Another possibility is either the Gamo Peep (Crosman, Daisy) or the Chinese Peep from the BS-4 rifle. You may have to drill and tap a screw to use as a stop because these sights have mass and will try to move.

    I don’t think the front element on a 34 globe is replaceable, but a 36 or 45 peep should fit fine.


  19. BB,

    Thank you very much for answering my questions on the sight/pumping. I learned to shoot years ago on a Daisy 845 with a peep sight, and as such, I don’t understand the obsession many people have with mounting a scope on the Benji 392.

    Also, in pursuing the aforementioned quarry (medium birds to small mammals), what .22 ammo would you recommend? I want as clean a kill as possible, of course, and preferably a range between about 8 yards out to about 20 or so max. Kodiaks, Crow Magnums, Premier hollowpoints, Silver Arrows?

    Thanks again, and keep up the great work!

    Phil from AZ

  20. To the person talking about accurate shooting and ego effecting ability to learn. I learned something today others might find useful. We all know we have to estimate range/hold over/hold under more than our powderburning counterparts. What I learned is this: I know i need to hold 1″ low at 15 yds w/ my talon. problem is consistency. I continually still shot high. (instinct says to put the cross hairs on target when the trigger is pulled). Try this….don’t try to hold one inch low/high, etc. Pick an alternate aim point to focus on, either above or below target as applicable. I INSTANTLY increased my hit percentage dramatically. Hope someone else can use this trick to the same benefit I found.

  21. Dear Mr Pelletier

    I just want to remind you of the review still outstanding for the BAM B50/51 PCP rifle….. I think it is high time to evaluate this one for introduction into the real world…. Some people still refer to PCP’s as changing “to the dark side”, but once you have made the decision, the fun really starts….!!! The rifle is well known in the States, Russia, U.K., New Zealand, Canada and South Africa…
    Thanks for your valuable and unbiassed reporting….

  22. Looking forward to your Benjamin HB22 review. I like the gun; I had one about 20 years ago (or it’s model equivalent) for a couple years before selling it and going off to college. I’ve recently purchased one from PyramydAir (well, 3 actually, the first two had both manufacturing defects and shipping damage) The third one was the charm, and it’s very nearly perfect, except I wish they would use machine screws or kotterpinned bolts instead of the cheap-n-crappy looking rivets.

    One other issue I have is with the scope intermounts for the HB22…they don’t rise up straight from the barrel, so my red dot canters off about 3-5 degrees off-center to the right. I’ve tried reversing them (but get the same problem in reverse) and I even tried another pair, but still have the same problem. Any advice?

    Overall, I love the gun. It’s plenty of power for garden varmits out to ~20 yds. and besides the few details I’ve pointed out earlier, a pretty solidly manufactured piece that should last for years.

    When you do your review of it, take a look at the gun directly down the barrel from the front. I have yet to see a cocking lever that was installed straight down from the barrel, it always seems to be off a few degrees. I’d be interested to see if you see the same.

    Thanks for all your helpful reviews and advice over the years.


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